Waresley & Gransden Woods
Waresley and Gransden Wood is now open to limited access to specified paths in the wood, enabling a circular walking route to be followed (see Map & details further down the page). We are keeping the whole situation under continual review.
Please keep to the dedicated winter access route shown on the map, and enjoy your winter woodland walk. That way everyone can enjoy the displays of woodland wild flowers when The Wildlife Trust is able to fully re-open these woods again in the spring
Know before you go
Parking informationPark in the car park on Waresley Road. During bluebell season the car park is very crowded.
Gradient on walk in. Main rides good but slopes near stream. Scroll down to see a map of permitted access points.
When to visit
Opening timesFor the safety of visitors Waresley Wood will be closed on occasional Saturdays over the winter whilst shooting takes place. The Wildlife Trust BCN does not own the shooting rights on this land but works with the shoot to ensure safe access for visitors. Gransden Wood and Brownes' Piece will remain open on shoot days.
Best time to visitSpring and Autumn
About the reserve
Waresley and Gransden Woods are owned and managed as a nature reserve by The Wildlife Trust BCN. The reserve is very popular with visitors so balancing wildlife conservation with public access is very important to the Trust. There are no public rights of way within the woodland, however the Trust does allow permissive access for the public to visit.
We want people to enjoy the woods but as the landowner we may withdraw permissive access if there are concerns about public safety and to protect sensitive wildlife habitats.
We can only allow entry to our nature reserves at designated points with appropriate connections with surrounding path networks. There is no permission given for use of any alternative locations and the Trust reserves the right to amend access locations as it sees fit.
Waresley and Gransden Woods are adjoining ancient oak-ash woods, a woodland type that is restricted to lowland England. The site is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its diverse flora, which is enriched by the underlying geology of the wood, a combination of Lower Greensand and Boulder Clay. Dean Brook marks the boundary between the two woods. The woods are home to many breeding birds. An abundance of wildflowers attracts insects, and over 500 species of moth and butterfly have been recorded here. In spring the ground is carpeted with bluebells, primroses, violets and oxlips.
In the early 20th century, the wood was harvested for timber and part of it planted with oak and sycamore, creating areas that are very different from the undisturbed broadleaved woodland and old coppice plots. The woods were originally much larger, a significant part being converted to farmland as recently as the 1970s. We have started the process of regeneration to woodland with Brownes’ Piece. With the helping hand of local schoolchildren, we planted trees and are gradually changing the field to woodland.
We coppice alongside the rides in Waresley and Gransden, and thin trees to allow light to penetrate. We also mow the rides to encourage wildflowers. We have regular work parties at Waresley and Gransden reserve.
- Waresley and Gransden woods are part of the West Cambridgeshire Hundreds.
- Read @DerekNeimann's Guardian blogpost about Waresley Wood's ash trees.
- For more information and photos visit the Voluntary Warden's website www.waresleywood.co.uk
Scroll down to see the reserve boundary. Please note the boundary map is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.
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